What is FTC?

FTC, which stands for FIRST Tech Challenge, is a robotics program for students grades 9-12 (ages 14-18). It is a mid-level robotics competition for high-school students. It offers the traditional challenge of a FIRST competition but with a more accessible and affordable robotics kit. The FIRST Tech Challenge grew out of the existing FIRST Robotics Competition and the FIRST Robovation platform. FIRST, RadioShack, and Innovation First, Inc. collaborated to develop an improved version of the FIRST Robovation kit. The new kit is significantly upgraded and is called the Vex Robotics Design System. FIRST piloted the competition for two years under the name 'FIRST Vex Challenge' until it was approved as an official program for the 2007 season. The ultimate goal of FTC is to reach more young people with a lower-cost, more accessible opportunity to discover the excitement and rewards of science, technology, and engineering.

According to FIRST, "FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) offers high-school students (ages 14-18) the chance to develop strategy, design and build robots, and compete head to head using a sports model, based on sound engineering principles.

FTC is designed to inspire students to explore and pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through competition-based learning. With up to 10 high-school students and 2 to 3 Mentors per team, FTC allows each student to actively participate and benefit from the FIRST experience. Students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an Alliance format against other teams.

FTC participants are introduced to the engineering process and create and maintain an Engineering Notebook. They develop hands-on programming and rapid-prototyping experience, and learn the value of problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills. FTC creates powerful relationships between the young people who compete and the Volunteers and Mentors who participate."

(Courtesy of The Official CHAMPIONSHIP Program Guide, 2011)

FTC Statistics

  • 1,500 teams
  • 10,000 students
  • Grades 9-12

FTC History

2008 - Quad Quandary
2009 - Face Off!
2010 - Hot Shot!
2011 - Get Over It!
2012 - Bowled Over!
2013 - Ring It Up!
2014 - Block Party!
2015 - Cascade Effect
2016 - FIRST RES-Q
2017 - Velocity Vortex

To learn more about FTC, visit FIRST FTC!